7.6. SEQUENCE TEST QUESTIONS EFFECTIVELY

Most tests consist of a sequence of questions. Consider how separate questions are best combined for a comprehensive test.

Ask multiple questions about one scenario. For complex subjects, create a series of test questions based on the same situation, scenario, or description.

Make it easy for the learner to refer to the original explanation:

  • Link back to the original explanation from each question.

  • Repeat salient facts in each question.

  • Display the scenario in a separate frame or window from the questions.

Ramp up the difficulty. Vary the difficulty of test questions so that no one completely fails yet few get a perfect score. Start with the simpler questions. That way learners taste success and are motivated to continue trying. Learners who cannot answer any of the first three questions are likely to despair and not sincerely try later ones. Or they may spend so much of their time on the initial difficult questions that they do not get to the easy ones within the time limit of the test.

Keep the sequence short. Few people like long tests. Four or five questions make a nice pop quiz. A dozen are enough for almost any sequence. A test containing more than 15 questions is a police interrogation.

If you feel these limits are too restrictive, break your test into multiple short tests and sprinkle them among the presentation of material.

Enable navigation. If practical, let Learners skip back and forth among the questions, answering the ones they ...

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